National Monuments

Monumental Moments

Two of the greatest things about Las Cruces are its weather and location and one of the best ways to take advantage of both is by visiting any of the three national monuments located within in just a few miles of Las Cruces.

Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument’s 496,000 acres surround Las Cruces. One of our nation’s newest protected area features recreational opportunities like hiking through desert nature trails and the chance to encounter petroglyph and archeological sites. Intrepid travelers caravanned 22 miles of the Butterfield Stage Trail; outlaw Billy the Kid and warrior Geronimo took refuge among these hills; history was made on these lands by World War II pilots and by Apollo Astronauts. Through these lands, our spirit moves in good company. Doña Ana county is celebrated for its open spaces and history. It is loved for its natural wonders, such as the scenic Organ Mountains and the southwestern Chihuahuan Desert. War II bomber pilots and crews. Doña Ana County has always been a place where the history meets the future.
Sites to see in the monument:
• Over 22 miles of the Butterfield Stage Trail
• Kilbourne Hole National Historic Landmark
• Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock
• Geronimo’s Cave
• 243 Known Petroglyph and Archeological Sites
• Estimated 5000+ Archeological Sites
• Apollo Mission Astronaut Training Sites
• Original US/Mexico border from Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (Changed by Gadsden Purchase)
• Historic World War II Aerial Targets
• Fort Mason and Historic Ranch House Ruins


Prehistoric Trackways
The Prehistoric Trackways National Monument was established in 2009 to conserve, protect, and enhance the unique and nationally-important paleontological, scientific, educational, scenic, and recreational resources and values of the Robledo Mountains in southern New Mexico.  The Monument includes a major deposit of Paleozoic Era fossilized footprint mega-trackways within approximately 5,280 acres.

The trackways contain footprints of numerous amphibians, reptiles, and insects (including previously unknown species), plants, and petrified wood dating back 280 million years, which collectively provide new opportunities to understand animal behaviors and environments from a time predating dinosaurs.  The site contains one of the most scientifically-significant Early Permian track sites in the world.


White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument protects the world’s largest gypsum dune-field, and the unique plants and animals that survive in this other-worldly place. Located about 30 minutes from Las Cruces, the magnificent pure white dunes provide excellent recreation opportunities; visitors can picnic, “white sand surf” or just stroll through a portion of the 275 square-mile national monument. Additionally, the monument offers tours and activities such as the Sunset Stroll Nature Walk, full moon night programs, special events, and tours of Lake Lucero.

Activities at the monument:
• Interpretive Programs
• Step Through Time
• Full Moon Hike
• Lake Lucero Tours
• Sunset Strolls
• Full Moon Nights
• Full Moon Bike Rides
• Crafty Kids
• Skins and Skulls
• Junior Ranger Program

Marketing Department Contact Information

Lorena Lozano
Media Publications Manager
Visit Las Cruces | 336 S. Main Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001
Office: (575) 541-2361

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Photo Gallery

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Blacksmith at NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market

Chalk-art artist at the Farmers & Crafts Market

Rio Grande Winery at dawn

Afternoon at Rio Grande Winery

La Posta de Mesilla has one of the best patios to enjoy and evening cocktail

Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Mounument

Roadside roadrunner made entirely from recycled materials pulled from local landfill

Poolside at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces

Walk of Flame Green Chile Trail in Las Cruces

A sack of red chile during harvest season

Dining at St. Clair Winery and Bistro

Dining in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Enjoying a glass of wine on the Rio Grande Winery patio

Riding the dunes at White Sands National Monument

Hiking in the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument

Shopping on the historic Mesilla Plaza

Stars over the Organ Mountains

Rockin’ out at the Las Cruces Country Music Festival

The party goes all night at the Las Cruces Country Music Festival

Ristras hanging on the Mesilla Plaza

Riding the dunes at White Sands National Monument

Hiking in the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument

Taking a selfie break in the Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument